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The effect of COVID-19 on non-residency in the UK

Posted 26/03/2020 by Rod Love

Whilst HMRC have confirmed that if COVID-19 means that you have spent more days in the UK than your category of non-residence permits, then the exceptional days rules can be applied, up to a maximum of 60-days, this only applies to the days in the UK tests.

In terms of other tests that involve counting days, there are no exceptional circumstances, so please consider the following:

1. If you are using the 90-day working overseas rule to qualify, then you may be aware that this also includes that there is a requirement that of those 90 days, less than 30 must be ones where you work more than 3 hours. This 30-day limit is not extended by exceptional circumstances, so whilst if you are here for 40-days when you should be working overseas, and you actually work in the UK instead, you will compromise your non residence status.

2. If you are someone who has to consider ties tests, or will have to because you do not meet one of the three automatic tests, then please consider the following:

A. If you have a child at boarding school in the UK, then as long as they do not spend more than 21 days here outside of term time, then they are not a family tie. But if they are stuck here for the Easter holidays, then this will create a tie.

B. A minor child does not create a tie if the time spent with them in the UK is less than 61 days in a tax year. However, if as a result of the exceptional days you exceed this limit, then this will create a tie.

C. Again, there is the question of working, if you have more than 40 days on which you work more than 3 hours in the UK this creates a tie.

D. Whilst it will have no effect for 2019/20, if you spend more than 90 days in the UK in that year, it will create a tie in both 2020/21 and 2021/22.

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